Community within a school : a redevelopment opportunity study

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Community within a school : a redevelopment opportunity study
Briscoe, Carrie
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Denver, CO
University of Colorado Denver
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Prepared for Prepared for Space Inc.,Carla Pokrywka Cole & Jenny O’Neill

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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COMMUNITY WITHIN A SCHOOL:A Redevelopment Opportunity StudyCarrie Briscoe Client: Space, Inc PROBLEM STATEMENT Saddled with crumbling facilities and escalating operating costs on an already-constrained budget, the Clear Creek School District seeks to understand if a vacant school can regain its position as a community hub that Þ lls the gaps in unmet needs through an adaptive reuse project.COMMUNITY NEEDS RECOMMENDATIONS CHILDCAREHOUSING MENTAL HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT HEALTH CARE QUALITY OF LIFE SENIORSOTHERLicensed Child Care Facilities Year-round Affordable Child Care Licensed Child Care for Children under 3 Early Childhood Education Affordable Housing (For Sale & Rent) Housing for Families Workforce Housing Substance Abuse Treatment Mental Healthcare Providers Youth Substance Abuse Treatment Youth Mental Healthcare Economic Security/Diversity Job Opportunities Technology Infrastructure Public Transportation Recruiting & Retaining Quali Þ ed Employees Health Insurance Affordability Primary & Specialty Care Pregnancy Planning & Prenatal Care Healthy Food & Food Security Healthy & Active Physical Environment Traf Þ c & Parking Preservation of Environment & Natural Beauty Human Services ProvidersHousing (ADUs, Co-housing, apartments, care)Public Transportation/Mobility Veteran Care & Housing Homeless Services & Housing Injury Prevention: Domestic Violence, Child Abuse& Sexual Abuse Services At-risk youth/on-time graduation supportClear Creek County Childcare Needs Assessment (2019) W Kaiser Permanente Colorado: Community Health Needs Assessment (2019) Clear Creek County, Colorado Community Health Improvement Plan (2018-2022) Housing Needs Assessment Update & Feasibility Study (2018) Centura Health Community Health Needs Assessment (2019) The Decade Report: Triad Early Childhood Council’s 2020 Community Needs Assessement The Heart of CO Rural Philanthropy Days: Listening Tour (2016) City of Idaho Springs: Investment Prospectus DRCOG: City of Idaho Springs Boomer Bond Summary Report Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties: Transit Assessment and Planning Study (2018) LOW HIGHNEED PRIORITY A Meta-Needs Assessment (MNA) was performed to ef Þ ciently analyze the top needs of the community. Ten community needs assessment reports were used to extract the top ten needs from each. Each need was assigned points (1-10) with number one needs getting 10 points while the tenth need received one point. Points were totalled for each category. The need categories were ranked by their total score. NEEDS RANKED BY POINTS DAYCARE & SCHOOL COMMUNITY EVENT SPACE TEACHER & STAFF HOUSING MENTAL HEALTH & HEALTHCARE


C O M M U N I T Y within a school


COMMUNITY WITHIN A SCHOOL A Redevelopment Opportunity StudyPrepared for Space Inc. Carla Pokrywka Cole & Jenny OÂ’Neill May 15, 2020 By Carrie Briscoe | Candidate, Masters in Urban & Regional Planning Capstone Project submitted in partial satisfaction of requirements for the degree of Master of Urban and Regional Planning, College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado Denver.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe Clear Creek School District is the owner of the substantiallyvacant 86,706 square foot former Clear Creek Middle School located in Idaho Springs, Colorado just southwest of the central business district. The building was constructed in 1968 to serve as the Clear Creek High School followed by the Clear Creek Middle School, but it was vacated in 2002 when the schools were consolidated and relocated to their current location twelve miles east near Evergreen. Today, the building is mostly vacant and the school district spends about $6,000 per month to operate and maintain. This capstone project, aptly named “Community within a School”, is based on this building and facilitated by Space Inc’s Carla Pokrywka Cole and Jenny O’Neill. The “Community within a School” concept infers there is an opportunity for the Idaho Springs community as well as the school district to realize broader community goals and objectives within the existing building as part of an adaptive reuse project. The result of this project is an opportunity study that will serve as the basis for community engagement, proforma development, and project feasibility analysis, and inform marketing and communications related to this site and building. PROBLEM STATEMENTSaddled with crumbling facilities and escalating operating costs on an already-constrained budget, the Clear Creek School District seeks to understand if a vacant school can regain its position as a community hub that Þ lls the gaps in unmet needs through an adaptive reuse project. PROJECT OBJECTIVES• Share best practices and social and economic bene Þ ts of adaptive reuse. • Understand ongoing planning efforts that affect this project. • Examine adaptive reuse case studies with similar mixeduse buildings that house key services that round out basic needs gaps in the community and exhibit the characteristics desirable to accomplishing a vibrant community. • Collect, summarize, and analyze community needs. • Identify the community’s top needs and show how this building could meet them.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARYADAPTIVE REUSE Rather than demolish and build new, adaptive reuse occurs when an existing building with a prior use is able to be preserved and adapted through renovation for another use factories have been converted to condominiums, industrial buildings into of Þ ces and food halls, and retail buildings into institutional and civic uses. While not a new idea, adaptive reuse continues to gain a foothold in communities where vacant buildings create gaps in the urban fabric and the cost of construction labor and materials continue to rise. Demolishing and building new is not only becoming less economically feasible but also viewed as less environmentally sustainable. Communities are taking note and reducing regulatory barriers that inhibit adaptive reuse allowing for the preservation of existing buildings over demolition and new construction or expansion into green Þ eld areas. Developers and Þ nancial institutions are also beginning to facilitate adaptive reuse opportunities in the existing built environment by developing methods to capture data and create funding mechanisms for these types of projects. HISTORY An opportunity to bridge the past to the present CONNECTIONS Reconnect social & economic opportunities within communities ENVIRONMENT Reduce environmental impacts through the preservation of existing materials SAVINGS Potentially save time and money over building from scratch REDUCED BARRIERS Becoming less onerous of a process due to the realization of its bene Þ ts by local municipalities and banksADAPTING SCHOOL BUILDINGS Old school buildings were designed to last inde Þ nitely evident in the quality and sturdy materials attributable to a classic and timeless aesthetic. Beyond the physical structure, old school buildings also possess the following bene Þ ts: Location: Often embedded in existing neighborhoods that allow for walking and biking and access to transportation. Sustainable: Offer the ability to reuse many components of the existing building as well as capitalize on energy-saving systems. Affordability: Alternative to demolition and new construction, adaptive reuse is usually cheaper. Community Rallying Point: The desire to maintain an already-existing structure in the community is usually a cause worth supporting. Funding Mechanisms: Many costs to adaptive reuse can be subsidized by state and federal tax credits CASE STUDIES The case studies revealed a common thread: closed and vacant properties leave gaps in communities. School properties are especially prominent went left behind due to their size and once prominent role. Through adaptive reuse, a community can resurrect a community icon, remember and tell its history, and restore a critical social hub. These efforts were not without challenge, however. Many of these projects were only realized after many years of vacancy and planning and through the creation and commitment of many partnerships who all brought something to the table.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARYCOMMUNITY NEEDS A need can be de Þ ned as a gap or discrepancy between what is and what should be. A needs assessment (NA) focuses on the ends to be attained rather than the means, and supports broaderbased decision making that can lead to an action, change, and improvement. Performing a new needs assessment was not feasible within this project’s timeline. Rather, this project utilized the Metaneeds Assessment (MNA) method. This methodology was developed in recognition that a NA is not always feasible. Many organizations lack time and resources to complete them. An MNA utilizes already existing human services NA as produced by other organizations in a community as a source of secondary data in an analysis. By collecting these NA, the amount of time needed for data collection is shortened and provides an ef Þ cient path to the analysis of community needs. Ten NAs were collected identifying 76 needs covering a variety of needs ranging from youth substance abuse to affordable housing. The needs were sorted into broader categories needs Childcare, Housing, Mental Healthcare, Employment, Healthcare, Quality of Life, Seniors, and Other. Each need was provided a weight score depending on their prioritization in each NA. To rank the top Þ ve needs for this project, each category’s needs were calculated resulting in the following ranking in order: Housing, Mental Healthcare, Employment, Childcare, and Seniors. RECOMMENDATIONS The purpose of this project is to identify new uses for this school that can meet gaps in community needs. The building has the capacity to meet many of them. Based on general ß oor square footage calculations, uses were identi Þ ed for each ß oor. Site and ß oor programming plans are provided on the next page. 1st Floor: The Þ rst ß oor can accomodate up to 3,500 square feet of daycare space which could serve as many as 35 children. The Þ rst ß oor could also provide 40,000 square feet if Carlson Elementary School needed to be relocated. This includes using the 9,600 square foot gym. The former track and Þ eld could serve as the playground and sport Þ elds needed for the daycare and school. Lastly, a lobby area at the building’s elevator and ramp will be reserved for users for the second through fourth ß oors. 2nd Floor: This ß oor will serve the mental healthcare need. At nearly 14,000 square, there is ß exibility and room to also share space with healthcare providers. 3rd Floor: Affordable housing for the school district’s staff and teachers could provide housing for as many as 10 households. 4th Floor: This ß oor has the existing auditorium and music rooms with varying ceiling heights and ß oor levels for acoustics. While not a listed need, this ß oor could easily be adapted for community events and performance spacePOINTS BY NEED CATEGORIES




EXECUTIVE SUMMARYRECOMMENDATIONS Continued Historic Designation In addition to reprogramming the uses for this building, it is recommended that this building be nominated for historic designation. It represents a unique school construction era. The population increase after World War II, as well as the consolidation of school districts to serve larger geographic areas, created the need for new and larger capacity schools. It was also a period when architecture re ß ected a modern era with simple and clean lines emphasizing function in the school over form. The building is listed as an example in the Colorado’s Mid-Century Schools, 1945-1970 Multiple Property Documentation Form submitted to the State Historic Preservation Of Þ ce in 2016. While historic preservation at the State and Federal level does not prevent demolition, it does make it eligible to receive state grants and tax credits. Sources of Funding Adaptive reuse of the school will undoubtedly be complicated requiring creativity in planning, design, and funding of the improvements. Exhibit 19 outlines general sources of funding available from local, state, and federal funding sources that can provide this project with the necessary capital. CONCLUSION Idaho Springs and the Clear Creek School District have an opportunity to further social and economic development goals through this project. It is apparent that the community values history and its resulting built environment as evidenced by its preserved downtown and the Argo Mine. This is yet another chapter in its history that can be saved and put to use serving the current needs of the community. Through an adaptive reuse project this is all a possibility. THE ARGO MINE Image Source: The Denver Post